The readiness to sacrifice even one’s own life in defense of our holy faith, our neighbors, and the Fatherland was one of the main traits of our God-loving and freedom-loving ancestors. The Gospel spirit of self-denial for the common good and freedom powerfully inspired their struggles and feats to such an extent that they, in accordance with Christ’s words, laid down their lives for their friends. The brilliant Ilinden history, a history of heroic sufferings, superhuman feats, but also of unbreakable faith, love, and spiritual victory, is the clearest indicator of the Gospel applied in the sacred past of our people. Therefore, every Macedonian should, with a sense of duty and gratitude, reverently bow their head before the immortal work of those who then, but also in more recent times, with their blood nurtured the sweet fruit of freedom from which we today enjoy.
Gratefully remembering those immortal Ilindens and all their kindred in spirit, the Sacred Bigorski Monastery for the fourteenth time hosted the Ilinden manifestation “Bigorski Monastery – The Path of The Cherry Wood Cannonball.” With the blessing of our elder and abbot, Bishop Antania Mr. Partenij, a larger group of young patriots, led by the voivode Stefan Đurčinovski, arrived at the Monastery last night, and today they took prayerful part in the blessing of their march, performed by our brother, Archimandrite Mr. Dositej. At noon, the horsemen continued their journey to Kruševo, where the central Ilinden celebration will be held on August 2nd.
At this solemn act, the president of the association “Bigorski Monastery – The Path of The Cherry Wood Cannonball,” Mr. Manoil Jakovleski, extended special thanks to our Elder and the brotherhood for their tireless patriotic activity.
“Great are You, O Lord, and greatly to be praised, Who the heavenly hosts glorify, before Whom Cherubim and Seraphim tremble, Whom nations, tribes, and tongues worship, Who with a strong hand defeat wars and have freed us from the bondage of the enemy. To You now we come, Almighty Lord, and recounting Your magnificence, we remember the heroic and patriotic feats of our gloriously fallen and surviving fighters, with gratitude to You, for everything You have done and are doing for us. Your right hand, O Lord, was glorified in strength and defeated the enemies, granting us victories. And now, Master, hear us who pray to You at this hour and accept our prayers of gratitude. Cover us with the shelter of Your wings, protect our land and every land from foreign assault and from any offense, and grant us to learn Your law and walk in Your paths. Give us Your peace and Your blessing, O Lord, our God, and send Your grace and enlightenment upon our leaders, the army, and all Your people” (Prayer from the blessing ceremony).